French Polynesia

January 22, 23 and 24 2023

Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti

Coming into Bora Bora I snapped a shot of a White Tern with breakfast.

Bora Bora was a great day, we went on a lagoon tour and snorkeling. So many fish, water was beautiful and the guide was amazing.

Moorea is a beautiful green island. Sadly our excursion was cancelled due to heavy rain and strong winds. At least we did get off the ship for a short visit.

Papeete Tahiti is a bustling port. We had a nice day on a round the island tour. We saw the black sand beaches, surfers and a beautiful botanic garden.

We then had some time in the port area to wander a bit and grab a local beer.

Pollywogs to Shellbacks

January 19th, 2023

Today we crossed the equator and with that all pollywogs (first time crossing the equator) had to appease the Norse god Aegir.

First the crew had to salute or kiss the fish, take a shot of aquavit and then line up around the pool to await sentencing. Needless to say they were all guilty and had to then jump into the pool.

Then it was our turn to kiss the fish, drink the aquavit and jump in the pool. It was a great event and we really enjoyed it. Very glad the aquavit was cold and the pool was warm.

Once through the ceremony we were no longer pollywogs, we are now shellbacks. Aegir is happy and will let us pass.

We have had some other activities the past couple days as well. Susan has created her first felt gnome, Radulf. We have gotten to enjoy an awesome doughnut buffet and some quality time in the spa. Yes I did the dump bucket of cold water.

Hawaii

January 15 and 16, 2023

Good morning Diamond Head

We had two beautiful days in Honolulu. On day one we went to the USS Arizona Memorial. A very moving place. Being there on a beautiful Sunday morning you can’t help but think about what it must have been like on that Sunday morning about 82 years ago. Terrifying.

The memorial itself is amazing, built over the ship without touching it. A perfect way to respect the sailors that are still under the waves.

82 years later you can still see and smell the oil coming up from the Arizona.

We then went to Waikiki beach and wandered around. Wow has it changed since I was here 42 years ago. Still we found a beach front tiki bar at the Royal Hawaiian and enjoyed the best Mai Tai ever and lunch.

We ended the evening with dinner at the Chart House built in 1968. Was a fine dinner and a great view over the marina.

Day 2 was a shopping day at the Ala Moana shopping center, huge place. But we did find excellent Ramen and had a great walk back to the ship.

Halfway to Hawaii

Jan 12, 2023

3 sea days down 3 to go. We both love our sea days. Susan has been busy with morning yoga and stretching, learning mahjongg and painting. I have been reading and spending time with the on board naturalists Robin and Chris learning about the oceans we are sailing on and spotting animals along the way.

Susan has completed her first art project, I think it is really good

Not a lot of animals this far out in the ocean though there are birds and there have been some whale sightings, I personally only saw one whale in the distance. I did get some pictures of a black footed albatross, a red footed booby and a flying fish. Watching for the wildlife out on the very front of the ship is addictive and very fun when you capture them on camera.

3 more sea days and then Honolulu for 2 days instead of 1. Our Kauai port has been cancelled due to a lack of guides and bus drivers.

Friends, Lunch and a Christening

Jan 8th 2023

We were treated to a very nice sunrise this morning in Los Angeles. The people doing just the Panama Canal portion have left us and the final contingent of World Cruisers are now aboard.

We had to clear the ship early for immigration and then our friend came and picked us up.

We went to a small but very nice farmers market and then to an amazing Mexican lunch at a classic old California place. The Red Onion.

Back on the ship we were treated to a Viking Ship Christening featuring the cruise line executives, a fantastic violinist, the new godmother Nicole Stott and even a real Viking. The ship was christened with a bottle of Aquavit.

Tomorrow is the first of 6 sea days to Hawaii.

Orca!

Jan 7, 2023

A quiet day as we sailed up the coast of Mexico to Los Angeles we caught sight of an Orca. Just off the port side of the ship, very fun to see.

We also saw some dolphins and one of the ever present Boobies.

Tomorrow is LA for a visit with a dear friend and the naming ceremony for our ship.

Cabo, Whales and Rocks

After 4 sea days from Costa Rica we arrived in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Since this was a tender port we decided it would be a good morning to get a pedicure while most of the people tendered to shore. Turned out to be a good plan. Viking has a very smooth tender process and brand new tenders, very nice.

The ride itself was about 20 minutes into a very busy marina. tons of boats, row boats to mega-yacht all piled in this marina.

We found the recommended Captain Jacks for lunch and enjoyed that, then we took a walk about to see what was right there by water. To be honest it is not our scene, perhaps 30 years ago.

Tender back was uneventful and we went up to the Explorers lounge to see sunset and sail away.

Before sunset however we saw whales, mostly at a distance, but I did grab a couple tail shots.

There was one momma whale trying to feed her calf and was constantly being harassed by boats. The naturalist aboard said he could tell she was upset as she kept hitting the water with her fin. People can really suck.

Really kinda sad what we saw at Cabo, such natural beauty being overrun by greed and uncaring people. I imagine what would happen if Vegas had been built on the edge of the Grand Canyon, it would be like this. The mind boggles at what the greedy would have done. Very glad there are national parks.

Next 2 more sea days to Los Angeles and the welcoming of the rest of the world cruisers

The Daily

Some people have asked for these. I will try to keep this updated.

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The Viking Neptune

We are on our 4th sea day after Costa Rica and I finally got around the ship to take some photos. The ship really is amazing.

I have captured most of the public places except the specialty restaurants and the spa, they were not available for photos, I shall try again.

I do think I have captured most of the many book cases on the ship.

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Costa Rica Cloud Forest

December 31, 2022

Happy New Year’s Eve

Today we are in Puntarenas Cost Rica. Perhaps the skinniest pier we have seen so far. Trucks and busses have to back down the pier as there is no space to turn around.

The Star Clipper was in port. A nice looking ship, but not our style we decided. Looked like they might put a person to work.

We did a short walk into the town in the morning before our excursion to the cloud forest. Not a lot to see in this little beach town. I do wonder how long you get to rent the bathrooms for? Some of the crafts were nice and very colorful.

The bus ride to the forest was about 1.5 hours and was interesting as we climbed from sea level to the cloud forest. It is called a cloud forest because it is a rain forest above 3000 ft.

We saw several restaurants advertising “Typical Food Here” seemed odd, but we were to find out first hand. Our first stop was for a typical lunch. Apparently typical food at this location is served cafeteria style and we got rice, beans, chicken or pork, a potato vegetable stew (this was excellent) and a fried banana and tamarind juice. It was all very tasty.

Once we got into the cloud forest we saw a number of Tanagers (Silver-throated Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Emerald Tanager) and the national bird of Costa Rice, the Yiguirro otherwise known as the Clay Colored Thrush.

We also saw a bunch of humming birds, zippy little critters are hard to photograph. We also saw an lizard, a baby green tree frog and a toad living in a root. See if you can spot him.

The forest itself was amazing, everything damp and dripping. We saw huge tree ferns, wild orchids, Strangler figs, walking palms and many other plants and flowers. The hydrangeas that almost every person has planted in their yard up near the cloud forest were as big as my head and beautiful.

We hiked down into a canyon to a small river, over a few suspension bridges and then back up out of the canyon. We certainly got our exercise.

Good night from Costa Rica. Next we have 4 sea days until Cabo San Lucas. I plan to post something of a ship tour over the next couple days. If there is something you specifically want to see, please let me know.

12/22/22 to 5/9/23